by John Emrich

Most people know me from my work in sample production. That said, I also get a lot of questions about recording without a computer, a topic I’ve been wrestling with for a few years. As luck would have it, Zoom recently released the H6, which allows you to do just that. You’ll still need a computer for editing and mixing the recordings, but the H6 includes a simple version of Cubase that works on the majority of computers available today. This article will serve as a review of the Zoom H6 as well as a how-toon recording without a computer.

The Gear

We received the Zoom H6 Handy Recorder and accessory kit. This includes the H6, an XYH-6 (“XY stereo”) microphone element, an MSH-6 (“mid/side”) microphone element, an EXH-6 (“external XLR/TRS”) module for connecting up to four additional microphones, a remote control, a foam windscreen, an ENG-type windscreen, a mic-stand mounting adapter, and all of the necessary cables. The pieces fit into a hard plastic case that offers complete protection for the main recording unit and the two stereo elements.

The Session

I set up my Dunnett Ti set to record with this new gear, placing the H6 on an overhead stand using the microphone mounting adapter. The position was about 7′ off the ground and over the bass drum, pointing toward the throne. Next I added individual microphones on the bass drum, snare, and two toms. For this review I decided to use common drum mics, including a Shure SM57 on the snare, a Sennheiser 421 on the bass drum, and Sennheiser e604 tom mics.

Check out an audio sample below.


For more on the Zoom H6 Handy Recorder, check out the complete review in the September 2014 issue of Modern Drummer.